A public adjuster alerted me to a Hurricane Michael policyholder being “shaken down” by a third party who allegedly purchased an AOB from an unlicensed contractor. What makes it worse is that the policyholder is being confronted by the third party and a person holding himself out to be an attorney.

Do not give into criminal and mob like “shakedowns” by these crooks. This is a complete sham and the authorities should be notified as soon as possible.

Contractors in Florida have to be licensed. There were a lot of unlicensed people posing as contractors, roofers, and remediation companies who preyed upon Hurricane Michael victims.

Here is just a part of the law regarding licensing of contractors in Florida:

A contractor’s license is required to perform certain construction work in Florida. A licensed contractor is required to affix his or her license number on all construction contracts he or she enters into. Section 489.119(5)(b), Florida Statutes (2018). Specifically, ‘[t]he registration or certification number of each contractor shall appear in each offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement, regardless of medium, as defined by board rule, used by that contractor or business organization in the practice of contracting.’

A contractor that fails to comply with Section 489.119(5)(b) is subject to penalty. §489.119(5)(e), Fla. Stat. (2012). For a first offense, the contractor is given notice and an opportunity to correct; failure to correct upon 30 days from notice will subject the contractor to fine or citation. For all subsequent offenses, the contractor is subject to fine or citation without notice and opportunity to correct.

One of the telltale signs that a person is unlicensed is that they have no license number in the contract or AOB contract. If that is the case, the contract is against the law and void.

What has happened is these alleged contractors who obtained an AOB have left but allegedly sold their AOB to third parties who are now illegally trying to enforce collection through scare tactics and threats of litigation. So, if a person indicates they are an attorney and literally accompanying the collector, ask for a card and identification.

Do not fall victim twice. Hurricane MIchael policyholders should be wary of scam artists and those posing as attorneys aiding in this illegal activity.

Thought For The Day

I might go my whole life stealing money. I got paid to play basketball, which is a scam. I get paid to watch basketball, which is a scam.
—Charles Barkley